The second of nine Boeing P-8A Poseidon MRA1 maritime multimission aircraft (MMA) (named “City of Elgin”) for the Royal Air Force (RAF) has arrived at Kinloss Barracks (formerly RAF Kinloss) in Scotland on 13 March. The P-8A Poseidon will remain until RAF Lossiemouth’s £460 million upgrade is complete. It will be equipped with sensors and weapons systems designed for anti-submarine warfare, and will also carry out surveillance and search and rescue missions. The fleet of nine P-8A Poseidon aircraft will cost the UK £3 billion. The P-8A Poseidon MRA1 will fill the role left by the Nimrod which was retired in 2010.
The Poseidons will assume responsibility for protecting the Royal Navy’s two new Queen Elizabeth-class aircraft carriers, as well as undertaking their baseline maritime patrol aircraft (MPA) and anti-submarine warfare (ASW) roles. While it was originally intended that the platforms should have an overland surveillance capability, an RAF officer recently told Jane’s that this will not now be the case, due to the relatively few number of aircraft being procured and their commitment to their core carrier protection/MPA and ASW tasks. The RAF’s P-8As will be at the same standard as the aircraft fielded by the US Navy (USN) and all other export nations except India, which operates its own P-8I Neptune configuration
The Boeing P-8 Poseidon (formerly Multimission Maritime Aircraft) is a military aircraft developed and produced by Boeing Defense, Space & Security, modified from the 737-800ERX. It was developed for the United States Navy (USN). The P-8 is being operated in the anti-submarine warfare (ASW), anti-surface warfare (ASUW), and shipping interdiction roles. The P-8 is operated by the United States Navy, the Indian Navy, Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) and the UK’s Royal Air Force (RAF). It has also been ordered by the Royal Norwegian Air Force (RNoAF), the Royal New Zealand Air Force (RNZAF), and the Republic of Korea Navy (ROKN).